BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington nursing students participated in a product testing exercise for Cook Medical in the fall 2016 semester. Cook Medical guided student volunteers through equipment tests, measured results, and recorded data from the experience to aid them in developing a user-friendly product. Testing took place at the Lee J. Marchant School of Nursing on Ivy Tech’s campus.

Donna Downs is the Ivy Tech nursing instructor whose class collaborated with Cook Medical.  “Ivy Tech students are testing Cook Medical equipment that allows the breaking up of salivary stones for removal. They are testing for ease of use, ease of cleaning, etc. to ensure that the equipment is user-friendly,” explained Downs.

Downs said the testing exercise demonstrated to students the amount of research that goes into product development, in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. “We emphasize to our nursing students that they are life-long learners as the medical field is constantly changing,” said Downs.  “Cook Medical is instrumental in making some of those changes by developing new products. This requires us, as health care providers, to learn how to use new equipment and how to prevent any complications.”

Crystal Heidrick is an Ivy Tech nursing student who participated in the collaboration. “I like that Cook is taking those extra steps to ensure their products are of the best quality,” she said.

Heidrick said she chose Ivy Tech’s nursing program because of its outstanding reputation. “Nursing uses a lot of high tech equipment and here at Ivy Tech they use the same equipment to train us that is being used in the field,” she said. “We have sim chart, which allows us to practice electronic charting. We also have sim lab where we practice skills on a manikin that breathes, talks, has a blood pressure, pulse rate, and lung sounds. They are preparing us to be the best nurses when we graduate.”

“I am a busy mom to three boys, so being able to afford a degree was very important when deciding which school to attend,” she continued. “I have always wanted to be a nurse but was waiting for the right time. I believe it is never too late to accomplish a dream.”

Heidrick plans to graduate Ivy Tech’s practical nursing program in July 2017. After she graduates, her next goal is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to become a Registered Nurse.

To enroll at Ivy Tech Community College, visit, stop into Ivy Tech Bloomington located at 200 Daniels Way, or call (812) 330-6013. Ivy Tech is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.